Reason to attend ST AGM

The main reasons to attend the AGM in a sectional title complex if you are an owner, is a semblance of control of the financial situation or better knowledge of the complex’s operations, says Michael Bauer, general manager of the property management company, IHFM.

Trustees must have a budget meeting before the AGM is due to take place and the new levies should actually be implemented at the beginning of the new financial year, according to Prescribed Management Rule 36 (2).

In the past levy budgets used to be discussed at the AGM but this system was not effective as decisions on the financial situation of the complex would be delayed by a few months while waiting for the AGM to take place. The only requirement now is that, once the levy budget has been agreed on for the year by the trustees and a letter has been sent out to all the owners, that the increase be ratified at the AGM, said Bauer.

Owners in any sectional title scheme, he said, need to realise that if they do not attend the AGM of their scheme, they cannot really complain if they do not agree with decisions that have been made. It is also important to check that all the trustees are doing their job properly; one cannot assume that things are always done when they should be done.

“This is, after all, a business, one in which millions of rands are sometimes managed in asset value and it must be treated with the same seriousness you would treat a business of that scale.

“Attending the AGM,” said Bauer, “is important because it does give the owner an idea of the personalities of the group involved in managing the body corporate. By attending the meeting you will get an idea of the way the building is run and the decisions that need to be made as well as participate. The group dynamics (whether there is a minority lobbying constantly for their own interests) will be shown up at meetings like this and you, as an owner, can that go against those decisions you feel are not in the interests of the scheme.

“Lastly, the income of the scheme will be discussed at the AGM and it is important that the owners know and vote on what will happen with funds over the next financial year, i.e. whether any large projects will be tackled. If you are not at this meeting, you cannot say after the fact that you didn’t want a new gate or the exterior walls painted, etc.”

Attendance at the AGM is important to all, said Bauer. This will give everyone an opportunity to read through the minutes and reports of the scheme and ask questions or get explanations from the parties involved.

“Again, one cannot complain if you are not going to take a vested interest in the scheme in which you live and you cannot hand the responsibility over to the management of the scheme completely.”

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